5 Qualities That Scholarship Winners Have

Winning a scholarship is not easy, but it is doable. After all, someone has to win them, right? Regardless of the type of scholarship you are applying for, you are sure to be up against some stiff competition. Scholarships are the single best way to get some free money for college no matter your financial need. Every opportunity out there attracts hundreds if not thousands of applicants in need of financial assistance. So what qualities make you a good candidate for a scholarship? 

Here are five qualities that make scholarship winners stand out from the competition. Scholarship committees look for these and pay attention to them during the application process. If you look back at the past winners, you’ll see that worthy candidates had all these traits.

Qualities That Make You a Good Candidate for a Scholarship

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1. Scholarship Winners Have Conducted Research on the Scholarship Sponsor

Scholarship winners are sure to have done some research on the sponsor. This is especially true for scholarships for majors such as education, science, and certain sectors of the arts.

If the sponsor of the scholarship is being done in memory of someone, it is always a good idea to know who this person was. Understand why this scholarship is so important to that person’s legacy. By putting in this effort, you’ll show that you’re a strong candidate. 

Some scholarships require an interview, so it’s important to prepare and educate yourself on the sponsor. This can give you a higher chance of winning if it comes down to you and another scholarship candidate.

2. Scholarship Winners Show Their Strengths and Weaknesses, Yet Exude Confidence

One of the best ways to communicate your strengths and weaknesses is to exhibit good written and oral communication skills. This is especially important when applying for an academic scholarship. Some students don’t want to sound like they are tooting their own horn and they go out of their way to downplay their accomplishments. This could be a mistake.

Scholarship providers want to know what your strengths are. They also want you to express them the best way you know how. This is especially true for those seeking scholarships in creative fields such as art, music, and graphic design. Usually, you’ll use a portfolio showcasing your best work which is accompanied by an equally excellent essay. A scholarship application is not the place to be humble. In fact, this is the place to let your hard work shine.

Like in a job interview, scholarship sponsors may ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are, so it’s important to know them well. You should be able to explain both and give examples in which you used them.

3. Scholarship Winners Demonstrate Leadership and Communication Skills

Scholarship committees are looking for people who can communicate effectively and who showcase their leadership potential. Leaders are not only confident in their own abilities, but they know how to work as part of a team as well. They also know how to express their ideas confidently. This is the perfect time to show off your successful achievements in leadership positions. 

Scholarship committees will closely examine your activities and accomplishments to determine your communication, leadership, and team-working skills.

Have examples of when you used your leadership skills to help your team, group project, or job to showcase your skills. Leadership and communication are scholarship qualities that winners possess.

4. Scholarship Winners Show Passion

The best grades in the world won’t help a scholarship candidate if they aren’t passionate about the scholarship they are applying for. Scholarship committees are attracted to someone who not only exudes confidence but who also has a passion for what the scholarship offers. They assume the candidate wants to become the best in their field, otherwise, why bother applying for the scholarship?

Make sure you express your passion for the scholarship field in your essay, and then again in the scholarship interview itself. Researching what the scholarship is about will help you in this process.

5. Scholarship Winners are Focused

Applicants who are focused on their short and long-term goals are more likely to win a scholarship. Organizations tend to sponsor students who are not easily distracted. A well-written application that is concise, focused, and straight to the point is the best way to show that you are focused on your academic goals and career path.

Many scholarship applications and interviews will ask what your career and education goals are. Write these goals down and explain how you plan to achieve them so you have your answers ready whenever you apply for scholarships. This will save you a lot of time and effort when applying and you’ll have well-thought-out answers to use.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Scholarship?

What qualities make you a good candidate for a scholarship? Well, you’ve researched the sponsor, know your strengths and weaknesses, have proven leadership skills, shown passion, and are very focused on your goals. There are so many scholarship awards available for high school and college students, so don’t be discouraged if you apply for some and don’t get them. Interviewers like to see the persistence and willingness of candidates who apply for multiple scholarships while pursuing higher education. 

Use College Raptor’s scholarship search tool to find the countless scholarships you are eligible for. You’ll get money for college that you don’t need to pay back! And if you’re still unsure about which school to attend, use our college match tool to find the perfect one.